Contributed by Stacy B.
How have you integrated Curriculum Trak into your school culture?
Our teachers use Curriculum Trak for daily lesson planning. We require teachers to document objectives, strategies, assessments, and homework daily. We also use RenWeb and the objectives and homework teachers enter into Curriculum Trak automatically sync into RenWeb for parents to see.
What steps did you take to train, support, and encourage your teachers in their mapping efforts?
We did several teacher in-services to help train them to use the system. We have worked on developing more comprehensive units and then added lesson plans. Our teachers will use the maps in Curriculum Trak to compare to our expected course maps that have been developed departmentally. This will help them to determine if expected learning outcomes for each course were or were not met. We then use that information to make decisions about curricular changes at the department level. I also use the weekly planner to assess teacher planning on a 4-6 week cycle and provide them feedback.
What unexpected insights, findings or benefits have you discovered from your mapping efforts so far?
The first year we really didn’t use the data, as we were trying to get units and lessons in the system. Some teachers did much better than others, so we used those that did quality work to help the entire team see how this information could be used to help them in assessment of teaching and student learning. This year during our debriefing week at the end of the year, we will print all maps from Curriculum Trak and have departments compare what was actually taught with what ascending teams are counting on students learning to make adjustments to the K-12 curriculum. I will also use the sorting features to see how well we are meeting standards and provide those reports to our teachers.
What advice would you offer to schools just starting the process?
I would recommend beginning with well developed units and then begin developing detailed lesson plans. I would also suggest adding all resources to the unit, not individual plans. It makes finding those resources much easier for future use. For accreditation purposes, add Expected Student Outcomes (ESO’s) just like standards to each course.
What tips, strategies, or tools did you find most helpful in advancing your efforts?
I appreciate all the step-by-step instructions Curriculum Trak has provided. I have taken those instructions and created a cheat sheet for my faculty that they can use to quickly figure out how to use certain tools and features within the program.
Where are your mapping efforts leading you? What’s next as a result of your efforts?
I mentioned this above. For our school we have created standard maps that identify what we expect any teacher teaching a specific course should teach. We don’t necessarily want these to change from year to year or teacher to teacher, so the maps in Curriculum Trak will help us determine how well teachers are actually meeting the student learning outcomes each year or in each class. This will allow us to determine if what has been created is feasible and actually happening within each class.